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Thread: Substitute for Highball Products "Earth"?

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    Default Substitute for Highball Products "Earth"?

    Up to now, my go to product for adding a base layer of "dirt" to a scene has been Highball Products "Earth" (either light brown or dark brown). Unfortunately, I'm on the verge of running out of the stuff and evidently Highball Products is out of business. Any suggestions for an alternate? I'm looking for something that's very fine.

    As you can see, the Highball stuff matches the area that I'm modeling very nicely. So, kind of disappointing that it's gone



    Thanks,
    -Mark

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    Arizona Rock and Mineral has a whole bunch of products like that. I'm not sure exactly which one will work best for you, but their "earth" products tend to be super fine, and their "soil" a little less powdery.

    Another alternative (assuming this is for your "Hope" layout) would be to scoop up some soil next time you're out there and sift it. Folks also suggest baking it to kill anything that might be in there, and running a magnet through it to remove anything that might eventually find its way into a motor. More work, but if you can't find the right thing commercially...

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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFan View Post
    Arizona Rock and Mineral has a whole bunch of products like that. I'm not sure exactly which one will work best for you, but their "earth" products tend to be super fine, and their "soil" a little less powdery.

    Another alternative (assuming this is for your "Hope" layout) would be to scoop up some soil next time you're out there and sift it. Folks also suggest baking it to kill anything that might be in there, and running a magnet through it to remove anything that might eventually find its way into a motor. More work, but if you can't find the right thing commercially...
    I agree with the latter,,nothing beats the original and it’s free.

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    And unless you're modeling an area with distinctive soil that is either very reddish, very yellowish, very black or very whitish, most times stuff from the backyard works fine anyway. Why? Because most people have no "memory" for color.

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    Try sanded grout from Home Depot! They come in a variety of colors, and a box is more than you'll ever need.

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
    Under the streets of Los Angeles

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    I don't think real dirt is going to work for me as it would likely be too coarse. The Highball stuff that I'm trying to replicate is very light, fine and powdery (not very far off from cigar ash, really).

    I think AR&M might have some stuff that I can use. I guess I'll scattershot order a few different things and see if anything works.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    The Highball stuff that I'm trying to replicate is very light, fine and powdery (not very far off from cigar ash, really).
    Ah, I see. In that case AR&M is a good bet, and less expensive than a box of choice Cuban cigars, I think.

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    I realized I could use some "dirt" so I just ordered some from AR&M. You guys have never steered me wrong before.
    WAAAAGH!! Wait, wrong hobby. TRAAAAAAIIIINNN!!

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    It looks like crushed limestone in the proto photo. Get a bag of dry paver sand (*not* paver base) which is mostly limestone powder at your local builder's supply big box. Comes in 40 lb bags for like $4. You want to sieve it outdoors with a fine kitchen strainer, lots of dust.
    IMG_6555.jpg
    The coarser stuff makes good talus for limestone cliffs, or sub roadbed fill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NtheBasement View Post
    It looks like crushed limestone in the proto photo. Get a bag of dry paver sand (*not* paver base) which is mostly limestone powder at your local builder's supply big box. Comes in 40 lb bags for like $4. You want to sieve it outdoors with a fine kitchen strainer, lots of dust.
    The coarser stuff makes good talus for limestone cliffs, or sub roadbed fill.
    That looks promising. If the AR&M stuff doesn't work out, I'll definitely give it a try.

    Thanks,
    -Mark

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    Got my care package from AR&M in the mail today. And although none of the products I ordered are by themselves a good match for Highball Products "Earth", I found that mixing 2/3's of a bag of AR&M "Earth" with a full bag of AR&M "Industrial Dirt" got me a near perfect color match. The granularity is very similar as well, so I'm definitely good to go.

    Thanks again,
    -Mark

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    can you post pics of the two different AR&M products?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankieD View Post
    can you post pics of the two different AR&M products?
    Best I could do (they're a little lighter looking in person).



    -Mark

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    Nice. Thank you. It is so hard trying to determine what they look like on AR&M web site. The darker one is "Earth" and the lighter one is "Industrial Dirt", correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankieD View Post
    Nice. Thank you. It is so hard trying to determine what they look like on AR&M web site. The darker one is "Earth" and the lighter one is "Industrial Dirt", correct?
    Right.

    -Mark

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